Martha Ross

What Would You Pay for Clean Water?
May 24, 2012

What would you pay for clean water? Clean water is a top health issue for any community, and that includes public and economic health. A modern s

What’s Missing from the Forbes ‘Poor Black Kid’ Column
December 16, 2011

In his column, “If I Were a Poor Black Kid,” Forbes writer Gene Marks notes the advantages conferred upon him and his children by being white and financially secure. He asserts that black kids in poor urban neighborhoods with struggling schools have a harder situation, but that with hard work and perseverance, they can successfully graduate high school, go to college, and get a good job. Essentially, he’s calling for kids in tough situations to be resilient, or, in other words, to do better than expected in adverse circumstances.

The Wrong Debate About College
November 07, 2011

A recent Intelligence Squared debate tackled the proposition that “Too Many Kids Go to College.” Arguments in favor:  the cost of higher education is rising out of proportion to its value; it stifles entrepreneurial creativity (because Plan B is to found a million dollar software company, natch); and the bachelor’s degree is a “false credential” that doesn’t accurately signal what a college graduate knows and can do. Arguments against: Post-secondary education is the best hedge against poverty, unemployment, and dead-end jobs.   It was a lively discussion, but as the debate progressed, the ter

Creating New Pathways for Youth Success in D.C.
October 06, 2011

The Washington, D.C. region routinely ranks highly on measures of economic health, even though in these recessionary times, “economic health” sometimes means you’re still suffering, just not as badly as the guy down the road.  And averages mask all kinds of disparities.   For example, the city at the core of the region has both high average incomes and high poverty rates, and, as you can imagine, these figures do not refer to the same residents.  Let’s zoom in for a closer focus on a particular subset of Washington, D.C.